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Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour made his second senior appearance for the Blues in the Carabao Cup third round clash on Wednesday night, and it was his first start for Chelsea as the Blues posted a big 7-1 win over Grimsby Town.
Gilmour was one of the stars on show, and the 18-year-old impressed in midfield as he dictated play with calmness that will rarely be seen from an 18-year-old.
Gilmour left Rangers in the summer of 2017 to join Chelsea academy and the Scotland Under-21 international is considered as one of the best up-and-coming talents in Chelsea’s academy and is very much rated in his homeland.
Last season, Gilmour played 32 times for Chelsea’s Under-23 and Under-19 sides – the latter in the UEFA Youth League – and had a hand in 15 goals, scoring nine himself and laying on six assists from midfield.
Former Scotland skipper Barry Ferguson has called for the youngster to be fast-tracked into the Scottish national team and has likened him to Tennis star Andy Murray.
Ferguson said: “I am absolutely convinced this kid is going all the way to the top.
“I’m excited for him. I’m excited for his family. But most of all I’m excited for Scottish football because I truly believe we’ll be building our national team around this boy for many, many years to cone. To put it simply, we haven’t produced a player like this in decades.
“That’s not me having a pop at the likes of Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney or Scott McTominay – who have all made it to the highest level of the English game. These guys are outstanding football players and will be Scotland internationals for years to come.
“But, like I say, there’s something special about Billy. Something different.
“Technically, there is no doubt in my mind that he has the ability to go as far in the game as he wants to. But we’ve all seen young boys come through in the past who had the world at their feet but who never quite managed to reach their full potential.
“The thing that makes Billy that little bit different from the rest is his desire, attitude and hunger. I see it all in his eyes and that’s why I am so convinced we are talking about a special player.
“When I look at this kid I can’t help but think about Andy Murray leaving Dunblane at a similar age to make it as a tennis player in Spain. That’s the sort of single-minded attitude you have to admire and it’s why I really believe Billy has got it all going for him.
“Put it this way, if I was Stevie Clarke I’d be having a good hard think about whether or not to bring him straight into the full Scotland set-up. And, after mulling over for five minutes, I would probably call him up for the next squad and next month’s double header with Russia and San Marino.”